Missing Archives

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss being able to work in the archives. Travel restrictions that prevent me from going to and working in the archives I need for my research depresses me, to say the least. The fact that there is no end in sight compounds my feelings of loss.[1]

Looking over a copy of Gregoras’s περὶ κατασκευῆς καὶ γενὲσεως ἀστρολάβου and out over the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin.

There are real, professional consequences: For scholars whose work depends on traveling to do research in archives or on site, the effects of the last year will continue for years and years. For some, the disruption to research risks ending their scholarly career, making it impossible to complete the research and writing needed to be promoted. Time and resources needed to travel to and engage in sustained research are increasingly difficult to secure. Most people won’t simply be able to go next year. There are also real, emotional and mental health consequences: Working in archives, doing research brings me joy, makes me happy. It is fundamental to my identity as a scholar and a professor.

I long for the day I can return to an archive and get lost in a manuscript.

  1. I am grateful for my position here at Haverford. I am fortunate to have it. I am also fortunate to have my health. That makes my plight infinitely better than many people’s.  ↵